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With Longleaf Studios, JSU film classes get new home


With classes back in full swing, Jacksonville State University has unveiled its all-new location for the introduction film classes: the newly finished Longleaf Studios just off campus.

With a 7,000 square foot green screen, numerous classrooms, and offices for staff and other crewmembers, the facility brings opportunity for students to further delve into the world of filmmaking.

This semester’s DR 230 class has toured the facilities to show students what it would be like working in a similar scenario.

Over the course of the next few semesters, the studio should be fully functioning to accommodate both projects brought in from the outside and classes on campus just next door.

Through the North Eastern Alabama Entertainment Initiative (NEAEI), those involved with Longleaf Studios hope to ignite a spark for the film industry in Jacksonville, Alabama.

Pete Conroy, the chairman of the NEAEI committee, has been responsible for collaborating with Alabama State Senator Del Marsh and Alabama State Representative Richard Lindsey to make everything involving Longleaf Studios possible.

This summer, Longleaf Studios hosted a film camp for students interested in the field as well. Taught by Jacksonville State’s very own Jeffrey Nichols, the camp consisted of five days of nonstop, hands-on experience for all those involved.

During the camp, students from surrounding high schools got a chance to learn the specifics of lighting, camera work, and much more.
In addition to the studio itself, the famous EMPACT (Entertainment Media Production & Crew Training) truck, full of top-of-the-line lighting and audio equipment, was utilized by campers.

For the camp’s grand finale, the attendees tried their hand at creating a two to three minute short film of their very own.

For the DR 399 class, also held previously this summer, students that applied for the film study scholarship learned the same aspects in a shorter period of time.

At the end of the course, there was a trip to Baton Rouge to the Celtic Media Centre, a film studio in Louisiana that acted as a model for the Longleaf Studios. Students got to hone in on the skills they learned during the month of July and put them to the test.

The JSU Film Club, headed up by Mr. Nichols and run by President Bo Bailey, held their first meeting this Tuesday in the Stone Center.
There, the group talked with students who showed interest in the film industry.

The film club has partnered with the drama department to give actors experience in front of the camera, while at the same time giving film students hands-on, professional experience as well.

The group plans to utilize people with many different talents, some of which include directors, producers, writers, musicians, historians.

Meetings will be held on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at 6PM in the Black Box in Stone Center, Room 338 and all who have an interest are welcome.

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